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Opportunities for women in the 29er XX

by Kristen Lane on 2 Dec 2011
29er XX at the George Oliver Scutt
From Kristen Lane:

I want to make sure you are in the loop about the US Team’s new focus on women’s two-person skiff sailing. Putting aside the politics of equipment selection for a moment, there’s an exciting opportunity coming up for female sailors ages 18 – 25. To the extent you know sailors who qualify or who might be interested in learning more, here is some information.


The US Sailing Team has added two team spots to their US Development Team for the 29er XX. The two teams will be selected based on results at the 'Seiko Winter Challenge – US Sailing Team 29er XX Qualifier' regatta – February 10 – 12 at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami.

Note: the regatta, in keeping with the foundation of the XX class, is an open event. We expect mixed teams as well as all-male teams to compete. It’s the class’ intent to remain open.

There will be a training session open to all XX teams (international and males included) January 14 – 16 at CGSC as well. Charlie McKee will be coaching the clinic along with another US coach to be named later. The cost of the clinic is $200 total. Charlie will be on site and available to coach anyone who shows up starting on the 12th.

I am the 29erXX North American Class VP so I have put the calendar together and I’m responsible for promoting the event schedule. Of course, I would love to see a permanent XX fleet establish itself here on SF Bay as it’s the perfect high performance dinghy in breeze for average sized adults and guys too light to take on the 49er on the city front.

I am happy to answer any questions you have about the XX. Here is some basic information points to get you started.
Difference between the 29er and the XX: The XX uses a different: mast, sails, spin pole (some teams debate the 29er pole is better), gantry extension, and two tiller extensions.


Charter rigs: No. There are no more charter rigs. That approach probably won’t happen again in the future unless some outside entity decides it’s in their best interest to make a fleet of XX rigs available.

Charter hulls: We all know there are old 29er hulls around. So finding a charter hull is up to the individuals.

Are new hulls better?: From what I have seen, an old and well prepared hull in the hands of a capable team is a formidable foe on the race course. We just sailed at the Gorge this summer and the two Kiwi girls (who weigh 265lbs total...) were on our tail for every single race.

No matter what is selected by ISAF, the 29erXX will continue to be a low-cost training platform to get people sailing and develops the skills necessary for success on skiffs. Of all the boats being considered for Olympic selection, the XX is readily acknowledged as the most challenging in terms of balance-skills and finesse. To use a baseball analogy, it is 'like swinging a weighted bat' before stepping onto a skiff with a larger planning surface.

As an adult sailor of moderate size, I will continue to encourage adults to give the XX a try on the City Front. I have sailed the boat in breeze with a total team weight of 315lbs and have had success and loads of fun.

There are more young 'skiffers' who have moved to the Bay area. These sailors all own skiffs and plan to move them to YC’s on the Bay: Hans Henken, CC Childers, and Helena Scutt all hope to get their boats to STFYC soon. This means that we could be looking ahead towards great competition at local events.

Learn more about the 29er XX on the http://www.29erXX.com!website! And on the class Facebook page.

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